The other week, I did a little experiment. I went through hundreds of APW real weddings, asking the question: What makes a suit look good? What types of accessories pair best with which suits? What suits go best with which colors? When do you wear brown shoes vs. black? Etc. etc. etc. I expected to come away from this deep dive with a concrete understanding of suiting “rules.” But when I was done, I discovered it came down to two (admittedly very important) things:
- Does the suit fit well?
- Does the person look comfortable in it?
Because it turns out pretty much everyone looks F-I-N-E in a well-fitted suit. (And for more on how to get a suit that really fits, check out how to measure for a suit, and the four basic things you need to know about suits.) So instead of burdening you with a bunch of nitpicky little rules, today we’ve partnered with Generation Tux to give you ideas on how to style that suit that fits properly, in a way that makes you feel super comfortable in it. Because if you add one plus two, you get hotness.
If you aren’t familiar with them already, Generation Tux is an online destination that delivers suit and tux rentals right to your door, starting at under $100 (or $150 for a complete outfit including shirt, shoes, and tie). Their styles are modern, and tailored to your measurements. Plus, they’ll even coordinate your wedding party so you don’t have to. And with on-call tailors available from their sister company zTailors (just in case you need it), they are committed to making sure your suit or tux rentals fits well. They also just added a ton of new accessories to their online suit and tux rental options, making it easier to accessorize your suit to the nines.
So if you’re looking for ideas on how to put together a suit and still maintain your personal style, we’ve got seven right here:
Tip: If you want to incorporate color but are afraid of going overboard, keep scale in mind. A colorful tie and pocket square lend a pop of color that won’t overwhelm your whole look in the way a colorful shirt or suit jacket might. Also opting for lighter color or neutral suit will create less contrast, so your color won’t appear as bright.
1. Black Dress Shoes 2. Hot Pink and Turquoise Blue Circle African Waxprint Bowtie 3. Gray Sharkskin Notch Lapel Suit 4. Keyboard Cufflinks 5. Black Belt 6. White Spread Collar Shirt
See this community-fueled Oakland wedding in action right here. Image by Andria Lo Weddings.
Edgy Black Tie
Tip: Black tie doesn’t have to mean buttoned up. With the right accessories, you can make black tie downright edgy. Opt for modern silhouettes, like a slim tux and a skinny tie; pair with sneakers instead of dress shoes, and voila! Rock star status.
1. Black Peak Lapel Tux 2. White Spread Collar Shirt 3. Black Plaid Pocket Square 4. Skull and Crossbones Cufflinks 5. Black Satin Skinny Tie 6. Gucci Dublin Slip-on Sneaker
See this rock ‘n’ roll wedding (with three hundred guests!) in action right here. Image by Justine Bursoni Photography.
Tip: If Drake has taught us anything, it’s that stealing your grandfather’s wardrobe is totally legit. Opt for accessories in darker colors: think navy, oxblood, or hunter green, in more structured fabrics like wool or tweed, and linear patterns like checks or plaid. For extra formality, opt for a three-piece suit. Don’t want to go all the way Draper? Slightly unkempt hair will keep your outfit from feeling too authentically old school.
1. Gray Sharkskin Notch Lapel Suit 2. White Spread Collar Shirt 3. Brown Leather Dress Shoes 4. Red Gingham Pre-Tied Bowtie 5. Gray Sharkskin Tailored Suit Vest 6. Black and Silver Cufflinks
See this self-solemnized Colorado elopement in action right here. Image by Kathryn Bacalis Photography.
Tip: Everyone looks good in a blue suit, but the blue tuxedo can be intimidating to style (aren’t black and blue not supposed to go together?). A safe alternative is the navy tuxedo. It’s not quite capital-B Blue, but it’s still a departure from the standard black tux norm. A light blue shirt will complement the navy, and a black skinny tie keeps your outfit modern.
1. Midnight Blue Peak Lapel Tux 2. Black Satin Skinny Tie 3. Glacier Blue Spread Collar Shirt 4. Cupid’s Arrow Tie Bar 5. Black Gloss Tuxedo Shoes
See this Rocky Mountain love fest in action right here. Image by Jamie Fischer Photography.
Tip: If you want to opt for a lot of color, but aren’t sure how to make it not clash, keep things monochromatic. You can mix a bright pink shirt with a pink patterned tie and light pink pocket square, and they won’t fight each other. And if you really want to make sure it all works, opt for one patterned accessory that has all three shades in it. It doesn’t have to be big, but it’ll help tie your look together.
1. Black Notch Lapel Suit 2. Black Dress Shoes 3. Pink Zig Zag Pocket Square 4. Danbury Plaid Skinny Tie 5. Men’s Extra-Slim Solid Dress Shirt
See this ASL-friendly camp wedding in action right here. Image by Corey Torpie Photography.
Tip: Fabric can make a big difference in the formality of your outfit. Cotton accessories will read more casual, whereas silk or satin will read more formal. Similarly, a black or charcoal suit (and certainly a tuxedo) can read more formal or “evening,” whereas blue, light gray, or tan can feel more daytime.
1. Navy Blue Notch Lapel Suit 2. Vintage Handkerchief 3. White Spread Collar Shirt 4. Brown Leather Dress Shoes 5. Pomp and Circumstance Floral Print Tie
See this New Orleans friendship festival (with a second line parade!) in action right here. Image by Haley Lovett Photography.
Tip: Pattern mixing is generally advanced-level outfit stuff, but a few tips can help you pull it off. First, mind your pattern balance. If you’re mixing patterns, you’ll be more successful mixing a large-scale pattern (like a palm printed shirt) with a small-scale pattern (like a geometric tie). And the color wheel can be your friend. (More on that here.) Colors next to each other on the color wheel will be harmonious with each other, and colors across from each other will pop against each other (in a good way). This tool is super fun for seeing how colors look next to each other.
1. Black Notch Lapel Suit 2. Black Dress Shoes 3. Begonia Zig Zag Pre-Tied Bow Tie 4. Billabong Men’s Poolsider Tropical-Print Short-Sleeve Shirt
See this colorful feminist party in action right here. Image by Hector from We Heart Pictures.
This post was sponsored by Generation Tux. Generation Tux offers modern, stylish suit and tux rentals starting at just $95 for a suit or tuxedo rental, or $150 for the whole outfit including shirt, shoes, and accessories. Plus, Generation Tux will coordinate your wedding party so you don’t have to. They even offer on-call tailoring in case your measurements change before the wedding. Basically, they’ve got this covered. Click here to register your event and get started today!